New York Times - Ships and Shipping

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Russian cruise, once frequent Falklands visitor, adrift in the North Atlantic

A Russian cruise ship Lyubov Orlova, at one time a frequent summer visitor to the Falklands, abandoned and adrift in the North Atlantic has been located about 2.400 kilometres off the west coast of Ireland.
Lyubov Orlova has been spotted drifting towards the Irish coast
Lyubov Orlova has been spotted drifting towards the Irish coast
With no crew or warning lights, the Russian built Lyubov Orlova has been adrift for two months and maritime authorities had been uncertain of its precise location.
According to a document from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Lyubov Orlova has been spotted at the coordinates 49-22.70N and 044-51.34W, or roughly 1300 nautical miles from the Irish coast.
The details were listed in a Daily Memorandum Atlantic Edition, a maritime update put out by the intelligence agency, which analyses satellite imagery and creates detailed maps for the US government.
With only rats as its passengers, the Lyubov Orlova had left Canada's shores on January 23 to be towed to a scrap-yard in the Dominican Republic. But a day later, the cable snapped, leaving it stranded in international waters.
It was then secured by the Atlantic Hawk, a supply vessel in the offshore oil industry, which managed to take the ship under tow before it drifted off yet again.
Canada's transport authority has said the ship - abandoned for two years - was no longer its concern, as the vessel had left the country's waters. But officials said the owner was responsible for its movements.
Earlier this week, Canadian officials acknowledged they did not know the location of the ship, as the vessel's global positioning system was no longer working. But the information locating the ship shows the derelict vessel is slowly heading towards Europe, having drifted at least 800 kilometres toward the European coastline.
The vessel which is a sister ship to Clipper Adventurer was seized at St John’s, Newfoundland, reportedly due to unpaid debts of 251,000 US dollars owed to the charterer, Cruise North Expeditions after a cruise was cancelled due to faults with the vessel.
The vessel, which ran aground at Deception Island in 2006, but was towed off safely, had been tied up in the St. John’s harbour for more than two years.
Source: Merco Press (South Atlantic News Agency)

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